In 2016 the Supreme Court held that the joint enterprise laws needed revisiting, holding that previous cases were wrongly decided:
‘The unanimous conclusion of the court is that Chan Wing-Siu and Powell and English did take a wrong turning and these appeals should therefore be allowed.’
At the time, it was felt that this ruling would lead to many other successful appeals and a drop in prosecutions based on the law of joint enterprise.
Six years later, it is clear that none of these predictions has shown to be true.
Figures obtained by The New York Times reveal that the Crown Prosecution Service has stepped up the pace of such prosecutions since the ruling — despite the murder rate remaining broadly stable.
The NY Times reports:
“Black defendants are three times as likely as white defendants to be prosecuted for homicide as a group of four or more — a widely accepted measure of joint enterprise cases — according to the new data.”
Ministry of Justice data shows that the number of homicide cases involving four or more defendants increased by 42% in the five years after the Supreme Court decision. The number of convictions rose by nearly 50%.
The CPS has rejected allegations of bias, responding:
“If a person helps or encourages another to commit a murder, it is right they can face prosecution for their involvement in the crime.”
As a firm, we have specialist lawyers who fully understand the case law relating to joint enterprise. We work with only the best advocates to ensure a fair trial and leave no stone unturned in establishing the facts.
How can we help?
We ensure we keep up to date with any changes in legislation and case law so that we are always best placed to advise you properly. If you would like to discuss any aspect of your case, please contact our team of criminal defence specialists on: 01376 511819